BOSTON (CBS) — Stephon Gilmore was as surprised as anyone that the Patriots came calling on day one of free agency in March. But the Pats’ new cornerback, due $40 million guaranteed on a five-year deal, acknowledged how easy it was to decide to sign with New England.
Gilmore talked about his brief free agency process when he met with reporters in Foxboro for the first time on Thursday. He was asked about his time as an unrestricted free agent, which lasted less than a day after the Patriots were reported to have agreed to a deal with the former Bills cornerback several hours before free agency officially began.
It was Gilmore’s agent who was actually working the phones with prospective teams, while Gilmore himself just waited. He acknowledged his excitement over getting the call from the Patriots, who shocked the football world when they acted swiftly and decisively to sign him.
“You just never know with that type of stuff,” said Gilmore. “I was just sitting back waiting to see who was going to call. I was excited that they called me. I was humbled. I heard a lot of great things so I’m just happy to be here.”
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Gilmore was also asked about any other offers he may have received from other teams. As you might expect, he didn’t have much trouble deciding to join the Patriots.
“There were a couple teams that wanted me but I let my agent do his job,” said Gilmore. “[The Patriots] wanted me. It was an easy decision.”
It’s unclear which other teams had shown interest in Gilmore prior to the start of free agency. The Bears were reportedly ready to “hotly pursue” his services, while the Jacksonville Jaguars were willing to pay former Texans corner A.J. Bouye $67.5 million over five years ($26 million guaranteed).
Chicago, Jacksonville, or … New England? An easy decision, indeed.